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Native Cooking

Simplifying Life


Last updated 5/25/2013 at 11:54am

Dear Nidobak (Friends),

Although it is slow this year, Spring is here. Maybe not every day, but most days. We can at least get busy cleaning up and planting precious seeds. We can plan happy social events and enjoy the simple pleasures of this renewal of nature with the warmth of the sun on our face.

With so much to do outside I like to simplify my life inside with easy simple dinners. I promised myself to visit our local farmers market and support them as much as possible, and supplement with home grown vegetables.

I have a new pet veggie this year, kale. I’ve been loving it steamed in vegetable broth, mixed with rice, in soups but the very best way is in chips. They are available in health food stores and even the regular grocery has them in the health food section for way too much money.

If you remove the stems, wash and dry the leaves, put them in a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil, move them around to coat, then sprinkle with herbs like celery salt, garlic, cumin, cayenne (not too much), and bake at 180 degrees for an hour, you’ll have a good healthy snack. The more you make them, the more you will be able to adjust the seasonings to your own taste. You will be happy to note that it thrives in cooler climates, much like spinach, another favorite. It has a decent amount of vitamins A and C as well as calcium and iron. Chard, collards, mustard greens, kale and spinach are all good to rotate in your everyday menus.

To me, the true and most beautiful harbinger of Spring is strawberries. Just going out to pick them is a party. I just read somewhere that using a serrated grapefruit spoon to hull them is better and faster than the paring knife which can be dangerous.

Strawberry Salad

2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

6 cups washed wild field greens, mesclun

½ cup pine nuts or walnuts

½ cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons goat cheese

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with well-shaken vinaigrette just before serving.


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